She led me down a crooked stair
to the dank entrance and
held my hand while
we walked through the center
of a dead flow, walls tinctured
with green lights. Someone read
that the surface hardened
while its core burned hot.
I imagined the black glass knuckles
overhead, a fist of plowed furrows.
Though I couldn’t see its end
my eyes followed the trace
of wires roped from light to light
clipped up above the pitted floor.
You came to a stop; I watched
your face turn green and then dark
as you examined the curved walls.
Did we stop to take photographs,
sit our baby down,
her knee covered with ash?
Or was something lost,
Robin’s tortoiseshell barrette
fidgeted through her fingers?
I cannot now remember.
I only know that we stopped
and then something triggered this fear in me
like the opening of a shutter’s eye.
When I walked down to the beach
of black sand with you,
we watched the snow-like plume
of poisoned steam dissolve into the mist
that rose and fell above us like a fine net.
The pent-up gas flew from the sea.